Wednesday, 18 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - RELAXATION

How do you relax? Do you go for a run or kick back with a book? Everyone's concept of relaxation is different and the key is to find what works for you. 

Relaxation for me is about getting my Pyjamas on and chilling on the bed for the rest of the evening. The boys either choose to gather round and chat or watch what ever program we might be watching. Or work on their own little thing. Brendan is currently sat next to me sketching mushrooms! 
Often they find their own way to unwind and that can mean wanting time alone. Kenzie is lay in bed watching you tube. 
Everyone is calm and relaxed and doing what they find relaxing. 

I am about to go out which I would not normally do in the evening. I like to be at home. But tonight I am off to do some crafting in the village pub with friends. It is another way for me to relax. Ideally I would be down the pub in my pyjamas and slippers .... but that ,might be frowned upon!

I like the idea of meditation but my mind wonders and I find myself mulling over what I should have said to someone or what I am going to make for dinner. I just don't seem to be able to clear my mind. I manage better with guided meditation but I never seem to make time for it.

I tell you what I always have time for though... tea and chocolate! That has to be the most relaxing thing for me!

So what makes you feel calm and relaxed? I would love to hear your thoughts.


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - QUOTES

I am utterly lost with this prompt. I really didn't know where to go with "Quotes". So I had a little think and I came up with a little bit of fun. Fancy playing a game?

I will share some of my favourite quotes and you guys can post in the comments where you think they came from!
I am a geek so most of this will be Sci-Fi related!


  1. I love my captain!
  2. Make it so
  3. Smoke me a kipper.... I'll be back for breakfast!
  4. Roads, where we're going we don't need roads
  5. Never give up, Never surrender!
  6. Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
  7. 69 dudes
  8. Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporises rock, and as it always has, rock crushes scissors.
  9. Honey, where's my super-suit.
  10. Tell me your deepest desire! 
How many can you get? If you get them all then you are a geek just like me! Welcome to the club!

Monday, 16 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - PHOBIAS

Phobias..... I am not really scared of many things. I am in no way a big brave soul either, but I don't have many day to day fears. I love bugs and reptiles. Birds are my friends, heights make me a bit dizzy but I wouldn't say I was scared of them!

Big spiders.... and I mean the sort that crawl in the house during Autumn and decide to run across your floor or worse still..... your BED! WITH YOU IN IT!! They can stay away from me! I guess I am actually scared of them. I will not touch them and run the other way if I see one. I worry about them being in my room at night and if I see one then I will not rest until it has been shown the door.... via the window!

I don't know why they bother me. They are no different from little spiders. But I guess you can see their fangs and hairy legs in more detail when they are bigger. If they were not an ominous black colour then I would probably like them more. If I imagine a pink or purple spider of that size then it doesn't seem to worry me as much.


Ok..... actually that is not as great as I had imagined!


 I did actually hold a tarantula at  Easter this year! 40 years I have been building up to that! It was a bit scary and I am sure if she had crawled on my hand rather than sat still I might have panicked a little. 

I guess the one thing that really does scare me though is being buried alive! I think it stems back from a comic my brother had when I was little. He is 6 years older than me and had these spooky comic books. One story was a bout a guy locked in a tomb and forgotten about. All that was found years later was his bones and scratch marks on the lid of the casket. EWWWWWW!!!!
I can't stand anything that leaves a person with such a sense of doom and hopelessness. I can not watch any film that has an element of this. 
I hate small spaces too. I can't even sleep in a sleeping bag. Far too enclosed!

So those are my fears! I guess worse still would be trapped in a small tomb filled with big spiders......

ok I will stop now before I totally freak myself out!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - OLD PHOTOS

I love old photos. My dad has always been in to photography and spent a lot of time taking pictures of us a child. A camera became something I always carried and I am so glad I had this role model in my Dad! The pictures I have of school friends and childhood are precious and fantastic to look back on as adults when our paths cross again..... 30 odd years later.

The old photos of my children amaze me. How has the time passed so fast. I find it hard to remember so much about their childhood, yet in m any ways it only feels like last week?  Brendan's voice started to break back in August and I can't remember how he sounded before.
The changes happen so quick and we just don't see them happen when we see that person every day.

I thought I would share some of my fave old pictures with you. For old times sake!

The first is a picture of me as a toddler.... the second is Kenzie at around the same age. He is my clone! In nature and in looks.



Brendan was 2 months Premature and so very tiny! He is now just under 6ft and still growing! 15 years have whizzed past so very fast! 



I love this old photo of Kenzie. It shows our love of nature no mater what the weather! He was desperate to get outside in the rain. Any why not! T-shirt and a nappy on and sooooo very happy!


And a picture I love of me aged 3ish and in Canada visiting family! Love the dress and love the coat! Love it all!


Saturday, 14 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - NOVELS

This title needed clarifying to me as I was unsure as to what point a book becomes a novel. I always believed it to be about book length but It has been shown to me that it is more about content. It has to be non-fiction to be a novel and is a story without pictures. 

I was glad to hear this as I am a huge Terry Pratchett fan and I have read all of his books...... NOVELS!



It was a sad day when I learnt we had lost him from this world. I still can't get my head around the fact that there will never be anther book from him. That his amazing mind and imagination has gone for good. I am just so grateful that he shared so much of the world inside his head, with us. The Discworld is a real place in my mind now too. The characters and places all have a strong visual image etched in to my mind. 


The boys bought me a cool book for Christmas that I still need to look through properly.  It is the Complete Discworld Atlas and it includes a map of the whole world. Information on each continent. Beautifully illustrated, bringing the Discworld alive in a way never before seen.


I wish I could tell you my favourite book but sadly I can not. I finish each one with sadness that it is over but excitement to jump right in to the next! I particularly enjoy the books set in Lancre. Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are such strong characters, battling to protect their world and fighting mythical beasts that are very real in the Discworld. Elves braking through the veil between their world and the mountain kingdom of Lancre, causing "mischief". 

If you have never read a Terry Pratchett book and you enjoy fantasy reading then give him a try! You do not need to read the books in order but it is helpful to do so! 


Friday, 13 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - MOVIES

I don't watch much tv or many movies. We do tend to watch the Marvel movies though.
I have found the last few to be very much focused on the action and lots of slow mo or sped up fight scenes which have left me feeling a bit motion sick at the cinema and end up looking quite blurred.

One movie seems to stand out though and that is the new "Spiderman Homecoming". I watched it twice and enjoyed it just as much the second time round.
The Spiderman character seems more true to his comic book version and the humour is endless. He is less intense than the past Peter Parker's and seems to have really had fun with the role. The writers have done a great job of portraying his relationship with Tony Stark and as two Characters that seem to have a lot of humour written in to their scripts, they bounce off each other brilliantly! Add Mr Happy to the mix and it is just perfect!



It felt more likely that the Character was a young lad and not a man pretending to be a lad. His best mate and him working together to beat the bad guys while still building their Lego Deathstar!

Many scenes stick in my mind as my personal most enjoyable moments. The first is when the "Training wheels" protocol has been disabled from his suit and he has no idea how to control his webs. The narrative between him and his suits on-board AI, Karen,  during this scene had me giggling all the way through! Before you know it he is talking life and love with Karen while looked in a Damage control warehouse for the night. A lovely nod to the Tony Stark and Jarvis scenes in Ironman.

The other scene is earlier in the film when you see a montage of "The friendly neighbourhood Spiderman" helping out the residents of Queens. Nothing grand and heroic that you would expect from the superheros we have been seeing on our screens.  Depicting him showing a lost traveler directions and saving cats from trees! It is a really lighthearted take on heroism!

Later on his interrogation skills show just how bad he is at this "superhero" stuff and reminds you how old his character is meant to be. His Enhanced Interrogation mode leaves him fumbling and his suspect seems to guide him through the correct way to extract information!

This movie is up there with Ant man  if you ask me! Entertaining from start to finish and no motion sickness and matrix style slow mo's!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - LOVE

This is an easy post for me. Lee and I have been together for 17 years. It has not all been easy or plain sailing. I found out I was pregnant 9 months after meeting him and he was going through a divorce. We had to find somewhere to live and his ex left him with a huge divorce bill and a bank account debt she had run up buying clothes on the "never never". 
 Becoming parents so fast was a challenge and as you will have read in my earlier post "Babies" it didn't start smoothly. 

Somewhere along the way we lost "us" and just seemed to take each other for granted. 
In the last 2 years we have re-found our relationship. Made more time for each other and we make sure we tell each other how we feel. I get lovely messages every day from him while we are working and I send messages back. We check we are happy and speak from the heart. 

After so many years together we decided to hold a ceremony to link us in a more symbolic way. We are not religious and have always said that having the children was a bigger commitment to each other than any wedding could be. 

So we chose to hold a Handfasting. A Pagan joining. 


Our good friends agreed to officiate the ceremony and we invited all our family and friends. The ceremony was held in the Forest School area that I helped to set up. It is a place that holds great meaning for me. 



The after party spilled out on to the village green and it had a very British summer feel to the whole event! Even topped off with a cricket match playing in the background.



It was an amazing moment and the sharing of rings meant so much. People brought a dish of food to share for our bring and share supper. There were hay bale sofas, bunting, throws and cushions to relax on. Toys for the children to play, henna tattoos being drawn on people and music playing. 



Everyone who came said that they had never been to such an amazing ceremony before and many wished they had had done the same for their weddings. It drew people in to nature and a more Earthwise way of being. Our boys were included in the ceremony and had the job of holding a ring each. We wanted them to be included in everything.


The most important thing was that Lee and I made a day to celebrate "US"! Our amazing family and friends came together and organised in a way I just couldn't have done, taking the pressure of us and allowing us to really enjoy our day.

The ceremony and blessing of our rings was beautiful.




It was the perfect way to share our love for each other. The most perfect way!


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - KITCHEN

They say the kitchen is the heart of a home and I would have to agree. Our kitchen is where we cook, eat, do crafts, chat over a cuppa and is probably one of the most used rooms in the house.
I love the kitchen although I have started to notice it is looking a bit tired. We had it completely refitted about 8 years ago and I guess time and use is taking its tole on it.

I try very hard to keep my kitchen tidy. Clean cupboard fronts and clear sides. My family have different ideas though. They see a space on the work top and feel the need to put something on it. My children insist on using every item from the cupboards and then just leave them dirty on the side or in the sink. They make food and leave crumbs and spills all over my table. 
It drives me totally crazy!! I get like a mad woman!!


So how is your kitchen? Do you have a stunning magazine style kitchen or a dumping ground kitchen? Or something in the middle? Would love to read your comments.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

#BOLGTOBER17 - JOKE

I am totally rubbish at jokes. I never remember them. But I do like really cheesy one liners! 
So here are a bunch I really like! They are pretty bad.... you have been warned!

  • The dyslexic devil worshiper sold his soul to Santa.
  • Does anyone need an ark?  I Noah guy. 
  • What's the best thing about Switzerland? I don't know, but their flag is a huge plus. 
  • You kill vegetarian vampires with a steak to the heart.
  • What's the difference between a Zippo and a hippo? Ones really heavy, and the other's a little... 
  • Did you hear about the new corduroy pillows? They’re making headlines everywhere!
  • What didn't the melons get married? Because they cantaloupe!
  • I wrote a song about a tortilla. Well actually, it’s more of a wrap.
  • If you were to clean a vacuum, would you be a vacuum cleaner? 
  • What is the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know, and I don’t care.
I told you they were bad!

Monday, 9 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - ICE CREAM

This prompt has me beat. I have no idea what to write about ice cream.
I love ice cream but do not eat it very much due to the fact I would end up being a giant ice cream hippo if I did. So I will just share some ice cream related thoughts with you.


  • As a child I remember having ice cream with chocolate sauce on. As soon as it hit the ice cream it became hard and I remember how yummy and special that was! Can you still buy that stuff? I think it was this ...... 


  • Ice cream in my teens was easy! A pot of haggan Daz all to myself while watching a film! Usually the Belgium chocolate flavour!
  • I was very late in finding dessert parlours such as "The Works" and "Treatz"! This was probably good for my bank balance and waist line. But now I have found them I highly recommend a visit! 
  • I have always said I would like to try and make my own ice cream but so far I have never given it a try. I have no idea what has stopped me. 
  • I always look at rows of ice cream flavours and think I should try new ones.... but I am so worried that I will be disappointed with my choice, that I end up picking old favourites. Anything with chocolate, raspberries or mint! I did try a Kinder Bueno flavoured ice cream at "The Works" last time I visited and I will choose that too from now on.
  • I also found recently that the best way to share a carton of ice cream is to cut it up in to equal parts. The container and all. Much easier than trying to dish up hard ice cream! That is assuming I want to share of course!

So having written this, I have concluded I need to eat more ice cream and I also have a craving to visit a dessert parlour!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - HOLIDAYS


Holidays. Not something I can talk about with any great experience. None of us have passports and the boys have never left this country. There are several reasons for this. It started because we never had money to go abroad so we used to ask friends and family to collect the Sun tokens and we took long weekends away at Haven sites once a year.

When Brendan was little, a holiday was very overwhelming for him. It would take days to adjust to the new place and the traveling and then he would want to come home to his own stuff. We would get maybe one day in the middle where he was not too "wired up" by everything. We now know this was due to Autism. Travel and change was not easy for him. Home was his safe place and he would become either over excited and then crash in to a meltdown or he would be stressed from day one.

When Kenzie was about 18 months old we visited family in Manchester and although it was a 5 days away the driving there and back was very traumatic. Kenzie screamed in the back seat of the car for hours and hours.
As the boys got older we ventured further a field. We did three trips to the Isle of White. Again just long weekends but we got to enjoy some great sights and spend some amazing time together.
Recently we have visited south Wales. Three visits now and the boys love each and every trip.

We always stay in Premier Inns so they know what to expect. What the rooms look like, what the beds feel like and what breakfast will be like. All important for kids on the spectrum. We have never had a bad stay with them either so we are always relaxed about staying there.

Next year I would like to be really brave and try a 6 hour car journey down to Cornwall. I thing the boys cope better with traveling now and we could actually do a full week away!

Maybe we will actually get passports and think about a small trip to Europe. We are in a better financial situation than we have been in the past. We do not do things on credit and we don't have credit cards. So if money is not there then we do not do it. If we start saving a little we might be able to take a little flight!!

I would be interested to hear how other families have traveled with either Autistic children or low budgets. Or both! I am sure we can not be the only ones out there that staycation rather than vacation!






Saturday, 7 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - GOALS

I have never been one to set Goals. I have ideas of where I would like to be and what I would like to be doing but I do not give times scales or worry if these things do not happen. Life is fluid and circumstances change. I try very hard to enjoy the moment. Be present in this time and enjoy what I have right now and what I have achieved to date. The future is never guaranteed!

Three years ago I thought that it would be nice to reduce my hours a bit once my babies had all gone on to school. This September 4 children left my setting and my Monday became empty between school runs. I could have filled the spaces but I thought this was the right time to focus more on my Online resource sales and pushing my online profile. So I guess i have some goals in mind. So what would I like to achieve?

  • Build my blog
  • Work with more brands and companies
  • Write for Early Education champions 
  • Share my experience and passion with other Early Years professionals 
  • Bring in an income from Online shop
  • Publish a book about learning through play and being in nature!
So if anyone would like to talk more about these goals with me and help me on that path then I would be most grateful! 


Friday, 6 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - FLOWERS

Being a nature lover it goes without saying that I love flowers. All flowers. Even those that others would call weeds. They all bring the bees and butterflies to my garden!

This summer the birds visiting our front garden shared their birdseed with the floor and planted me so many beautiful Sunflowers! I watched these amazing plants grow with out any tending form me other that the odd squirt of water. I watched as they all came in to bloom and filled my garden with a sunny yellow sight! 


 

I stood at my kitchen washing dishes and listened to all the lovely comments from passers by and could see the joy they gave everyone that saw them.
I was asked often if i had grown them, or planted them with the children I look after. I gave the same answer each time. 
"No, The birds planted them for me!"




Now the plants have died off and the heads have been removed for the seeds to dry.  Then I will give them back to the birds to keep them full over the winter months. 




Thank you birds for giving me such a beautiful gift. I hope you enjoy the fruits of your sharing!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - EDUCATION

Well I guess you all know that this is a hot topic for me!

We all need education and should all have it.... but our children's education should be more about fostering a passion for learning and not learning to pass exams and tests.

Less homework and more focus on the importance of balance, Work hard at school and play hard at home with family. No wonder so many adults burn themselves out each year trying to find a balance and failing. Bringing work home with them or staying late at the office. It has become expected and it is what we are showing our children by sending them home with an hours homework a night.

Find your gift and run with it. Writing, art, maths, sport, dance, science. What ever it is follow it! We learn more about things we love and those that follow their passions are the trail blazers!

Curriculum is a guide. It should not be a prescribed education for the masses. It just doesn't fit and raising the goal posts every year leaves children and teachers feeling they are never good enough.

Schools should be more community and nature based. Spending time with older generations visiting them in care homes to learn our history and respect. Supporting younger children in nursery to foster a caring and responsible attitude. More time on life skills!

Hands on learning. Growing crops, making our own toys and tools. Preparing meals and household budgeting. Learning in context. All of these things can include a computer section so that IT is covered. Using a program to design your allotment and crop rotation. Printing templates, making budget sheets on excel!

That is how I want to see our education change. More play and learning in context. Less time in a class room!


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - DATE

My take on today's blog prompt is the mini Dates me and Lee have. We went far too long in our lives focused on everything except ourselves. Over the past 2 years we have really re-connected and I realise how much we lost over the years. It is really easy to do when the kids are young. 

Now the boys are older we have started to steal moments for ourselves. 2 years in a row now we have asked my parents to have the boys so we could have a weekend away. I don't feel it is such a huge ask of them now that the boys have become more independent. I never asked anyone to take the boys before. I knew it was not easy and did not feel I should ask that of anyone.
It has been Amazing to have a couple of nights to ourselves and spend a day exploring somewhere new. 


Another way we have min Dates is to take a little walk around the village after work. The boys are settled and happy so we can leave them for half hour to take a walk and get some fresh air. We get to chat together without being interrupted and if it is a nice evening we sit and have a quick cuppa or drink at the pub. We might not get to do this every night but it happens several times a week and our lives and connection feels richer for it!

So never let Dates stop! NEVER!


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - CAR

I had no idea what to write about on the theme of cars so asked my man for help! He thought it would be good to share his Hot Wheels collecting with my readers and give some idea of what cars to look out for. I think this fits really nicely on a blog that promotes play!

Hot Wheels come in many styles and they are always bringing out designs or re-branded versions of their older models.

The key things that he looks for when collecting are

  • Movie vehicles
  • The gold symbol on the packaging that indicates it is a "Super treasure hunt"
  • The silver symbol on the packaging that indicates it is a "Treasure hunt"  
  • Branded designs such as their "Beatles- Yellow submarine" set.
He only buys cars on the original cards not the redesigned cards as these tend to cost quite a bit more. He also keeps all his his "Mint in box". These are not for playing with!

This picture shows where the symbol is on the card and as this one is gold, it is a Super treasure hunt. This is the harder to find cars. Some are very similar to their non STH versions so you might not notice any difference at first. But often they have rubber wheels rather than plastic and other small details. See the second picture for an example of this. It also has a different paint job.




These are some of the movie and TV cars he has collected. Just a few I might add. He has probably about 150 cars in his collection in total. He has even got the boys collecting! The lovely thing is, what he might like to collect is not always the same as what one of the boys would choose to collect. Kenzie has very clear likes and tends to make a lot of his choices based on if he likes the look of a car!


I have a huge box of cars in the playroom that is is enjoyed daily and a good chunk of them are Hot Wheels. They have been well loved and played with and probably had far too many crashes in their time. Not sure what a collector would make of them! The kids think they are great though!


Disclaimer: Hot Wheels have not asked us to review their cars and have not rewarded us for writing about them. All views are our own.

Monday, 2 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - BABIES

Well my babies are getting pretty grown up now. 15 and 11 years old and no longer in primary school. My eldest is working towards GCSE's and looking at what he wants to do next year.



Neither of my experiences have been easy. My eldest was born premature and that was something I hadn't thought about till it happened. We worked through it and he came home fighting fit after just 2.5 weeks! But he was never an easy baby. Sleep, food, temperament. As an experienced and trained nanny I just felt I was doing something wrong as I could not find away to manage him. He is the most strong willed person I have ever met and with an amazing vocabulary he could tell you very clearly that you were not in control. Pre-school and school all told the same story as he grew and progressed through the system. By 7 years old were were given a diagnosis of Asperger's. ASD. This is where a whole different approach to parenting and child raising came in to play. I had to forget pretty much everything I had learnt. Stop looking at what other people thought I should be doing with him and start to raise him with Autism specific techniques and approaches. 
I was told on occasions that he didn't have ASD. By well meaning friends who only saw Autism in 2 ways. Rain man or non-verbal. These people soon slipped out of my life.  His teacher at school was amazing and opened up to me. Her daughter was on the spectrum too. She had received a late diagnosis but said that she had seen the signs in Brendan and was glad we had received a diagnosis and support early. 
We found friends and groups that understood the whole Autism life and left behind the judgmental people. 



Baby number 2 was also early but only by 3 weeks. He was not a talker and a very quiet chap. He suffered from fits a lot in his babyhood and had several tests and hospital visits in his first few years.  He showed obsessive tendencies and sensitivity issues early on and we expressed our concerns about possible ASD. But were told we had nothing to worry about. By the age of 6 he was zoning out on us and ticking verbally and physically. Had been for about a year or more. This is when we were told he had ASD and Touretts. Something else to find out about and get our heads around. Thankfully we had been using the same parenting techniques for Kenzie so we had fewer of the meltdowns that we had experienced with Brendan.  Where as Brendan was outgoing and confident Kenzie was withdrawn and anxious. So there were new things to learn. He reminds me very much of myself as a child. 

So my experience of babies has been quite full on. I won't lie. It was not an easy time. But then is it ever an easy time for anyone? Babies may be amazing little things but they are hard work and we worry so much about them. Keeping them safe and raising them well are huge responsibilities!

But these boys of mine were given me to raise the best way I could. They have made me a more tolerant and understanding human. They have led me in to a world of caring families with amazing and unique children who find the world tricky everyday... but still get up and do it all over again tomorrow.  They have shown me life in a way I had never viewed it before and I will be forever grateful to them for this. I love my babies with all my heart and will do forever more. They will always be my babies.... even when they have babies of their own!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

#BLOGTOBER17 - ALL ABOUT ME

I have seen this pop up quite a lot in the past week on Twitter and initially dismissed it as I wasn't sure it fitted in to my blog theme. But after a re-think I am not sure that is the case.


My blog has grown from a family blog, to a childcare blog, to an educational blog and also a nature blog.... so maybe I don't have the "Set theme" that I feel I do.

So Day one of Blogtober17 is to talk about ME!

Anyone that follows this blog already will have a pretty good idea of what I am about. Family loving, nature enjoying, childminder and gentle parent! It is pretty clear by my posts that I love working with children and that I hold a strong passion to protect our children's childhoods! Protecting them from being pushed in to schools and tests. I promote play and fun and show how learning is something that happens every day in a child's life. Every experience they engage in teaches them something important.

Something you might not know about me is that I have lived a life with Anxiety. I do not ever remember a time when I did not have a voice in the back of my head trying to scare the hell out of me. It all came to a head around 2014 when I suffered panic attacks and started to seek help. 2 years of weekly counseling and a lot of facing this "little voice" head on has left me a much more confident and happy person. One thing that really did come out of this time was realsing which people in my life were toxic and sent time putting me down and which people in my life were real friends and were ready to help me through the hard times, even if that meant being quite blunt and honest with me.
These people are still in my life now and the others have been removed completely. Another healing milestone. I have now found like minded friends who respect my gentle parenting and alternative views without feeling they need to talk about me behind my back. Lets be honest.... it always comes back to us in the end!

During this time I reconnected with nature. I spent so much time in nature as a child and I can honestly say those times were times I never remember feeling anxious. It is the same now. Living  in a village surrounded by green is my therapy. Laying on the grass and feeling the sun and air on my skin takes away all my stress. I use this same approach  with the children in my care. I was one of a small group of people who set up a local Outdoor learning centre in the village  and we now hold regular forest school sessions. Allowing me to share this healing outdoor world with more people and spread the importance of spending time in nature!
As time goes by, more and more is being discovered about the benefits of being in green spaces and the damage that has been done by us becoming so dis-connected from our Earth!

So that is pretty much "Me in a nutshell"

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW - WEEKEND BOX SNAZAROO FACE PAINTS

I was contacted by a company called Weekend Box and asked to check out their latest brand team up. They linked with Snazaroo face paints to make an AWESOME pack of fun. You can sign up to become a member and receive a fun new activity for the weekend. 


The girls were really keen to get in to the box and see what goodies awaited them. Once opened, they very quickly cleared off the table and set about making up each others faces!


The pack came in a brightly packaged box that is just the right size to fit neatly through your letterbox. Inside were two cute little packs of face paints, a sponge and decorative stamps! 


There were also details of a competition that you can enter. The girls were very keen to make a face design good enough to win. 


We started off using the sponge to spread white paint all over "R"'s face and then "L" set about the fine details of her design!


The paints are easy to use and go on to the face smoothly. The colours are rich and you do not need to use much for a good effect.


We used the stamps on our hands which was fun, and then added the smiley one to her rainbow face!
I think they did they a pretty good job! 



Snazaroo face paints are water based which means they do not smear and smudge like many grease based face paints I have used. They dry leaving a nice smooth finish that does not feel heavy on the skin. These have been made with a gentle formula that is kind to sensitive skin. It is easy to layer the paints and because they dry fast you never have to wait long before building up colours.
Being water based they are easy to remove with normal soap and water. All sponges and brushes rinse off under warm running water and it can be washed out of clothing easily.

We have been really impressed by the face paints and the idea of a fun weekend box! 

We have given this a 5/5  and we could not find any faults with the pack or the products. 

One little thing that I feel is worth mentioning...... never leave a teenage boy to decorate your childs face............


Disclaimer - We were sent the product and asked for an honest review. All opinions given are our own.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

HOW TO MAKE - TIE DYE TOPS



You will need:
  • White cotton top
  • Hand dye, such as Dylon. (That is the brand we used)
  • Large bucket
  • Elastic bands
  • Water



First of all take sections of your top and wrap elastic bands around it. the more sections you do this too the more circles you will have on your top.


Mix the hand dye with the water as instructed on the packet. Use an old wooden spoon to push the top in to the water. The spoon will stain so make sure its not one you want to stay clean! Leave the tops in the dye for a couple of hours for a good strong colour. 


 Take out the tops (best to use rubber gloves for this bit) and rinse out the top in cold water. Then remove the rubber bands and leave to dry. To make these colour fast then follow the instructions on your dye packet. Also wash these separately a couple of times to prevent colour run in to other clothes.




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